One million visitor nights to be generated by Scotland's country sports
Scotland's country sports sector is on course to contribute more than one million visitor nights to the nation's tourism sector this year, said Robert Rattray, head of CKD Galbraith's Sporting Lets.
Following several exceptional grouse shooting seasons, Mr Rattray said that the country sport sector is well placed to improve on previous visitor statistics, including the 2013 record where 910,000 visitor nights were booked by country sport enthusiasts.
Scotland's world class country sports sector - and its support for rural employment and economies - was discussed by delegates at the Expo including VisitScotland's Chairman, Mike Cantlay, when he visited the Sporting Lets stand.
More than 270,000 trips are made to Scotland each year by visitors that wish to take advantage of pursuits including grouse shooting, fishing and deer stalking whilst enjoying the country's most iconic and breathtaking landscapes. This is estimated to contribute more than £155 million per year to the Scottish economy.
Around 60% of overnight country sport vacations in Scotland came from visitors from England, with a further 10% from international tourists. Scotland's domestic visitors accounted for the other 30%.
Sporting Lets is also on course to enjoy an exceptional year, with demand for Scotland's sporting activities growing year on year. The company has been extending its international reach, showcasing what Scotland can offer experienced and amateur sportsmen and women from across the world.
Robert Rattray, head of Sporting Lets, said: "Scotland offers world class sporting opportunities and the number of country sports visitors each year reflects this. Country sport holds a vital position with the wider tourism industry and the rural economy in Scotland. It brings in approximately £155 million per year to the Scottish economy, with grouse shooting contributing a significant proportion of this figure.
"With new flight routes to Edinburgh and Aberdeen airport recently announced, accessibility to some of Scotland's most beautiful estates has never been better. Visitors from unexpected countries such as Sweden, China and India are attracted to the first class shooting, stalking and fishing opportunities. They visit Scotland knowing not only will the trip be a successful one but that the scenery will be breath-taking, creating a truly memorable trip that pulls them back year after year."